23. svibanj 2023.

International competition of fire brigades in rescuing and extracting victims from traffic accidents.

Holmatro Rescue Challenge is an international competition of fire brigades in rescuing and extracting victims from traffic accidents.

The purpose of the competition is for firefighting teams to demonstrate their skills and practice rescue techniques in realistic scenarios that can occur in traffic accidents. Experiences are also exchanged, new knowledge is acquired and even better cooperation is achieved with the employees of the Institute for Emergency Medicine.

This year, for the first time, the competition will be held in Croatia under the name "1. Croatia Holmatro Rescue Challenge" hosted by the Professional Fire Department of the City of Karlovac.

Events like the 1st Croatia Holmatro Rescue Challenge help firefighters to be familiar with and keep up with new technologies, and pass on their new knowledge. It is the team approach that creates an environment in which these requirements can be met. Evaluation of this way of working by international and experienced judges offers an opportunity for further development through the exchange of experiences.


The main goal of the First Croatia Holmatro Challenge is to provide a safe environment for the exchange of knowledge and experience and the demonstration of the teams' skills in commanding the scene of intervention, technical rescue and medical aid with the presence of experienced international judges. The First Croatian Holmatro Challenge is not a competition in the traditional sense, but primarily training with a focus on rescuing people from vehicles involved in a traffic accident, as well as acquiring new knowledge and exchanging experience in a place that represents a realistically possible traffic accident.

Who can participate

Fire brigades from the Republic of Croatia or international can participate. All team members must be operational firefighters with a valid medical examination and experience in rescuing traffic accidents or be employees of the Institute for Emergency Medicine.

Event concept

A traffic accident scenario is set up with one or two vehicles and other obstacles where there is an injured person in one of the vehicles. Vehicles participating in the scenario can be placed on wheels, on the side or on the roof. Installed obstacles such as electrical cabinets, trees or guardrails make rescue difficult and must not be removed or moved.

When registering teams, each team commander draws a scenario plan in a sealed envelope. The teams are not familiar with the drawn scenario. The organizer sets each individual scenario according to the scenario plan drawn by the individual team commander. All members of each team go to the isolation area 30 minutes before their performance.

After finishing setting up the scenario, the team comes out of isolation and comes to the training ground. Arriving at the training ground, the team begins its performance. Each firefighting team has the task of rescuing an injured person from a vehicle involved in a traffic accident within 20 minutes in accordance with the extracted scenario and prescribed rescue rules. The team is evaluated by international judges and their actions and procedures are recorded.

Based on the actions and procedures during the performance, the team earns certain points. At the end of the event, the teams can be ranked in three categories according to the points achieved: gold, silver and bronze categories. Safety during performances is always a priority. Don't do anything you wouldn't do in a real intervention.

The duration of the exercise

The time for performing the exercise is limited to 20 minutes. This time is derived from the golden hour rule during traffic rescue interventions. The concept of the golden hour describes the time from the moment of the accident to the care of the injured person in hospital conditions. According to the golden hour rule, the time to free the injured person from the vehicle is 20 minutes.

Equipment at the scene

The equipment is provided by the organizer and consists of the equipment found in the firefighting technical vehicle and the emergency medical aid vehicle. The latest Holmatro devices and tools are available. Teams are allowed to bring their own hand tools that are in purses and pockets if they are secured against accidental dropping.

Personal protective equipment

Team members must be equipped with appropriate personal protective equipment. It is recommended to use a two-piece suit for firefighting outdoors in accordance with the HRN EN 15614 standard. The helmet visor on ordinary firefighter helmets is not considered eye protection, but safety glasses must be used. The helmet visor can only be used as face protection.

In addition, it is necessary to use a protective mask when sawing glass and other procedures that cause the appearance of dust. Hearing protection is recommended for certain activities that generate noise. It is mandatory to use protective gloves, under which there are disposable latex gloves.

We invite you to join us and see you in Karlovac!

1. Croatia Holmatro Rescue Challenge - Promo video: